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Even the Unchangeable changes, Every Change Lays a Positive Notice
1934 marked the beginning of a new era for Passignano on Trasimeno, with the foundations of SAI Ambrosini company. The newly formed aeronautic business was picking up quickly, and after a few decades, the whole economy of the village of Passignano depended on it. In the 80s Passignano had slightly less than five thousand inhabitants, which all directly or indirectly depended on SAI. At one point, SAI had more than four hundred employees, of which kids and wives depended on the factory as well. SAI was specialized in aeronautics and mechanics. It was an undercapitalized company, that is, it did not have much money and worked with loans from banks; which, however, asked for very high interest, leaving little profit to it. The problem became that the loans started to add up. When it declared bankruptcy in 1992, it was devastating to the economy of Passignano, to the workers, teaching us a very important lesson; that things always change, and in those changes, as negative as they might be, lies a positive notice
For reasons that are still unclear, the banks asked to repay the loan immediately, SAI was unable to do so. State aid was requested and not granted. They started to look for additional investors. The new investors though were more interested in the value of the land and the real estate speculation than in the welfare of the company, he also wasn't even capable of running the plant and started firing employees, eventually getting creditors filed for bankruptcy hoping to get the capital back from the sale of the land. This maneuver was made in order to take over land along the lake with the aim of building houses, hotels, restaurants, sports centers, etc. In fact, a project was immediately presented, which, however, again, for reasons that remain unclear, was non-authorized. Then came the construction crisis that discouraged investors.
The company collapsed in 1992 making Passignano’s economy collapse with it. All the workers lost their job and had to look elsewhere for a place in which to work if they wanted to continue maintaining their families. Suddenly four hundred people with ought a job scatter all around the neighboring cities looking for job offers. The people at the top of SAI Ambrosini were devastated, having to pay the bank back everything.
A crucial fact to notice is the recurring theme of events; which leads me to believe that even the strongest and most secure places; are not fully secured after all. This case has many interested multiple important companies in various sectors. This is the case, for example of blockbuster, one of the main rental companies, which became known between 1990 and 2000. They were unable to convert their business following the transformation of the film industry into digital. A very similar path has involved Nokia, one of the world's leading manufacturers of smartphones between 1990 and 2000, which was completely canceled out by the arrival of touch technology introduced by Apple with the arrival of the first iPhone. The fact of not having been able to read the current economic revolution has turned into a strong worsening of the productive condition of these companies. Sai Ambrosini went from 30 thousand employees in the 30s to 200 in the 90s. It tried to reconvert itself from seaplanes to boats, but the investments necessary to face international competition turned against the company and caused its bankruptcy.
There multiple reflections which I make from these events, the first is that nothing lasts forever. Even some of the greatest companies of all time can't and couldn't keep up with time. Companies are just like people, they come and go. SAI is to be one of the most extreme examples of this. When I'm in that city and walk near the lake, I can see those colossal buildings left abandoned decades ago. Thinking that a while ago, everyone in Passignano depended on it, and how when it went out of business so many people's lives changed is incredible.
My grandpa, throughout this whole situation, standing at the top of this very company for so many years, feeling no economic necessities most likely though this would never end as well; but it did. When it ended, he ended up himself having little money to live with and having to search for another job.
Things don’t only change for the bad though, and this was an example of it in some respects. The lake which they had been working next was subject to a lot less pollution and the nearshore places which were thought unusable suddenly became top places for tourists to go.
I stand here to believe that nothing is eternal, and either if you want it or not, everything is going to end eventually. Places like SAI, which no one thought were any close to ending, and which so many people depended on caused misfortunes to the workers, are examples of conclusions of that never-ending cycle of start and end which always contains positiveness.
This story still has a happy ending. Sometimes we look at things too closely and we fail to grasp the potential of some situations that can be seen by looking up. The failure of the sai has had an immediate negative effect on the grandfather and the family. But it was also an opportunity for the grandfather to get back in the game and to exploit his potential. While the business of the sai went deep, the lessons learned from that activity were converted into a new winning idea: telecommunications. It was from there that a new business adventure began.
This reminds me that it is sometimes necessary to broaden our horizons and try to look beyond the current moment. It is only in this way that we can grasp the complete picture and not just fixate on a detail. This thought accompanies me in all my actions. Like at school for example. When I sometimes get angry about a task I have to do, I remember how that small obstacle is actually an important step towards my education and towards achieving a wider goal